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'An Explosion of Fun:' Earth Day Events Coming to St. Thomas and St. Croix

April 10, 2008 — St. Thomas and St. Croix will celebrate Earth Day with environmental fairs for children and adults.
St. Thomas goes first with an Earth Day Fair planned for April 18 at the University of the Virgin Islands' green. The fair coincides with the Education Department's Week of the Young Child and National Library Week activities held on the same day at UVI's green, said organizer Keshema Webbe, life scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Earth Day Fair will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with schoolchildren from across St. Thomas and the public invited. Many agencies and organizations will be on hand to explain what they do.
"It's going to be exciting," Webbe said. "It's going to be an explosion of fun."
Exhibitors include the V.I. Water and Power Authority, Coastal Zone Management and Environmental Protection arms of the Planning and Natural Resources Department, V.I. Energy Office, V.I. National Park, Friends of the Park, UVI's Eastern Caribbean Center, Junior Gardening Program, Reef Rangers and First Bank.
"And people will show up on the day as usual," Webbe said.
On the big island, the St. Croix Environmental Association will hold its annual Earth Day EcoFair 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 22 and 23 at St. George Village Botanical Garden, in conjunction with the V.I. Waste Management Authority.
The fair is targeted toward students in grades three through six.
"It's set up for kids and the activities are age-appropriate," said SEA Director Carol Cramer-Burke.
Students learn at the EcoFair that there are people on St. Croix who care about the environment, she said.
"And they'll learn what they can do," she said.
For the first time, fifth and sixth grade students will participate in the Litter Stomp, a one-mile march from Waste Management headquarters to the Botanical Garden to protest roadside litter and raise awareness of the negative impacts of litter in the community.
The Litter Stomp begins at 8 a.m. April 22. Classes are urged to create banners with anti-litter slogans and awards will be given to recognize the best messages.
Presenters from government, non-governmental organizations and private industry will be on hand with interactive demonstrations and games to familiarize students with local environmental issues such as non-point source pollution, solid-waste management, coral reef conservation, forest ecology and other topics.
Each student who participates in the EcoFair will receive a free reusable water bottle or cup to reinforce the need to reduce the amount of solid waste produced in the territory. Teachers will receive posters and other materials to use in their classrooms to strengthen the lessons learned at the EcoFair.
Teachers are urged to register no later than April 7 to secure a space for their students. Call Vanessa Forbes at 773-1989 to obtain registration forms or additional information.
April 22 has no more space available, but there is some space left on April 23, Cramer-Burke said.
Earth Day was first observed in 1970 to change people's attitudes about the environment.
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